“What will it take for the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to realise that provincial police cannot function properly when he is holding the reigns on a national level?” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “The spate of shootings in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is a direct result of the lack of crime intelligence and resources for local police.”
Durban, specifically Wentworth and Austerville, has become a warzone the past two weeks, with residents, including children from school, fleeing from gunshots and drive-by shootings. The escalated violence started after the murder of the notorious gang boss and drug kingpin, Brandon ‘Puff’ Kalicharan.
Residents from Marianhill are still trying to recover after a surge of brutal murders earlier this month related to drug peddling. The shootings have also led to a spike in hi-jackings and house break-ins.
“We are concerned about the lack of government action to address the rise in violent crime and make arrests, which is allowing criminals to run rampant in the province,” said Mmekwa.
“The provincial budget allocated to the Department of Community Safety and Liaison decreased from R249 million in 2020/2021 to R236 million in 2022/23. This budget is the lowest across all provincial government departments, indicating the government’s lack of prioritisation of citizen safety,” she said.
Action Society calls on the government to take swift action to address the rise in violent crime in KwaZulu-Natal and ensure that the necessary funding and resources are provided to law enforcement agencies. The safety of citizens should be a top priority for any government, and the current situation in KZN does not reflect this.
To support Action Society in our fight for a more effective criminal justice system, sign our petition to get Bheki Cele removed as Police Minister.
Photo: Emer-G-Med Paramedics